The history of the creation of the song Enter Sandman by the rock band Metallica

The famous song “Enter Sandman” by Metallica became the first track from The Black Album to which the music was written, but the words of the composition were composed last.

Moreover, James Hetfield was forced to rewrite the first version of the text, because the producer and other members of the team did not like it.

History of Enter Sandman – Metallica

But first, it’s worth remembering how the very famous Kirk Hammett riff came into being, from which the history of Enter Sandman began. In a 2008 interview with Rolling Stone, Hammett revealed how he composed it:

Soundgarden just released Louder than Love. I was trying to capture their attitude towards big, heavy riffs. It was at two in the morning. I recorded it on cassette and never thought about it again. When Lars heard the riff, he said, “That’s really cool. But repeat the first part four times.”

The whole song was based on this melody. Metallica recorded the instrumental quite quickly, but there was a hitch with the Enter Sandman text. Initially, Hatfield offered a story about how a perfect family is destroyed by a terrible secret that its members keep. Allegedly, it was about a baby who was accidentally strangled by his mother in a dream. But Lars Ulrich and producer Bob Rock did not support this idea and suggested that James still think about the words of the Enter Sandman song.

As a result, he settled on the Sandman, a mythological character popular in many European countries and the United States, who puts children to sleep by throwing magical sand into their eyes. Thus was born the final version of Enter Sandman, a song about childhood nightmares.

By the way, Lars Ulrich, who was not familiar with this hero of fairy tales, did not immediately “drive in”, which is meant. According to his confession, only a few years later he understood the full depth of Hatfield’s intention.

Release and achievements

In July 1991, Enter Sandman was released as the first single from Metallica’s The Black Album. It peaked at number sixteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart. She was very warmly received by critics, and just a couple of months after the release, the single became “gold”.

Enter Sandman has been included in the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list and other authoritative ratings compiled by popular publications, radio stations, organizations and TV channels.

Covers for Enter Sandman were recorded by many famous artists: Motorhead, Apocalyptica, Pat Boone and so on.

Videoclip of Enter Sandman

The song was filmed a video clip (the second in a row for Metallica), awarded in 1992 MTV Video Music Awards in the nomination Best Hard Rock Video. We will not retell the plot of the video, on which the director Wayne Isham worked. For those who haven’t seen it, watch it now.

Interesting Facts

  • The lyrics of the song Enter Sandman mention the country Neverland (Neverland) from the fairy tale about Peter Pan.
  • There is no prototype of the Sandman in Slavic folklore, although Babai or Drema may remotely resemble him.
  • Metallica usually ends live shows with this song.
  • The song is often played at sports events, hinting to the visiting team that the game will be a nightmare for them.
  • The composition is one of the ten songs that Metallica performed the most times.
  • Under Enter Sandman, the wrestler The Sandman (“Sandman”) entered the ring.
  • Enter Sandman became one of the songs used by the US military to torture prisoners in Iraq, including tracks that were offensive to their culture many times in a row.

Enter Sandman Lyrics

Say your prayers little one
Don’t forget my son
To include everyone
I tuck you in
Warm within
Keep you free from sin
‘Til the sandman he comes

Sleep with one eye open
Gripping your pillow tight
exit light
enter night
take my hand
We’re off to never never-land

Something’s wrong, shut the light
heavy thoughts tonight
And they aren’t of snow white
Dreams of war
Dreams of lies
Dreams of dragons fire
And of things that will bite, yeah

Sleep with one eye open
Grippin’ your pillow tight
exit light
enter night
take my hand
We’re off to never never-land

Now I lay me down to sleep (x2)
Pray the Lord my soul to keep (x2)
And if I die before I wake up (x2)
Pray the Lord my soul to take (x2)

Hush little baby don’t say a word
And never mind that noise you heard
It’s just the beast under your bed
In your closet in your head

exit light
enter night
grain of sand
exit light
enter night
take my hand
We’re off to never never-land
We’re off to never never-land
take my hand
We’re off to never never-land
take my hand
We’re off to never never-land
We’re off to never never-land

Enter Sandman Lyrics

Say your prayers baby
Don’t forget son
Turn them all on
I put you to bed
warm inside
I protect you from sin
Until the Sandman comes

Sleep half-heartedly
hugging the pillow tightly
Light, go away
Night, come
Take my hand
We’re going to Neverland

Something’s wrong, turn off the light
Tonight thoughts are heavy
And they are not white as snow
Dreams about war
Dreams of lies
Dreams of dragon flames
And about what bites, yeah

Sleep half-heartedly
hugging the pillow tightly
Light, go away
Night, come
Take my hand
We’re going to Neverland

Here I go to sleep (x2)
I pray to the Lord to save my soul (x2)
And if I die in my sleep (x2)
I pray to the Lord to take my soul (x2)

Shut up baby, don’t say anything
And ignoring the noise that you hear
It’s just a beast under your bed
In your closet, in your head

Light, go away
Night, come
Grain of sand
Light, go away
Night, come
Take my hand
We’re going to Neverland
We’re going to Neverland
Take my hand
We’re going to Neverland
Take my hand
We’re going to Neverland
We’re going to Neverland

Song quote

My friend owns a guitar shop and it says in big letters: No “Enter Sandman”

Kirk Hammett, Rolling Stone, 2008

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